Common Core -What's Happening in Your District?
December 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm #16382
Everyone in my (small) district is forming committees, creating strategies, attending workshops and all that stuff districts tend to do when some new initiative comes down from above. And, whether one accepts Common Core, I think it’s coming, regardless. In Idaho, and perhaps in your state, Common Core standards exist for Math and Language Arts, but not for music.
I teach primarily based on the NAfME standards. I’ve found via research that some districts back east are developing CC standards for music which may be the way we’ll all be going eventually.
I’d like to help my principal understand that when it comes to committee work, my time and skills would be better utilized researching Music and Common Core, instead of feeling like a fifth-wheel in a committee comprised of Math, English and Science teachers. Any suggestions?
It would be helpful to know that as a small district, I’m one of only 3 music teachers. Thanks for you input.December 19, 2012 at 9:24 pm #17185
It may help to explain that the Common Core isn’t designed state by state–the whole point is that it’s a set of standards formed at the national level that states sign onto. Currently, there are only something like a handful of states that haven’t signed on. As of now, there are only Common Core standards for Math and ELA, but some states and districts (mine included) are asking their non-ELA and Math teachers to devise ways of helping to reinforce some of the ELA or Math Common Core Standards in their curriculum. For a music teacher, that could include hitting some of the critical reading standards by reading primary sources relating to repertoire and relating it back to performance practice, or hitting some of the writing through reflection about repertoire, the rehearsal/performance process and so forth.
I personally have no idea if there will eventually be Common Core standards in the arts, but there are some efforts underway by groups like NAfME and the NAEA to create new, national arts standards. Those might be worth a read, if you’re looking for some perspective or inspiration: http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/educators/standards.aspx
For what it’s worth, my district is also fairly small (I’m one of four full-time music teachers), and when we do curriculum work like what you’re describing, they tend to put all of us in a room with the art teachers, as well as the physical education/health and tech ed teachers.
Best of luck!January 24, 2013 at 5:29 pm #19117
Well I am from a bigger district in AR. We are spending our entire year working on a curriculum for music that is common core. We are to have a curriculum and standards written by the end of the year. Has anyone out there done this before? We are spinning our wheels in what seems to be a large task where like we understand it that it is a national level and why are we writing our own curriculum shouldn’t this come from someone on a national level?January 24, 2013 at 7:14 pm #19119
Standards, if anything, should be developed at a national level, but how you choose to implement those standards (or address the ELA and Math standards put forth by the Common Core) through curriculum design is something you absolutely have to do on a local level.
Should you look to the example set by larger districts or early adopters? Absolutely. But as far as curriculum goes, I’ve always felt you want to be designing that at the local level, because you want to craft something that is going to work for your teachers, your students and your community. You know your resources, your students and your priorities best, and designing your own curriculum should help you to put those strengths and resources to the best possible use. After all, I don’t think anyone would argue that what works best for my district will work the best in every other district in the country. Right?
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